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Comment Re:I Played as the US... (Score 1) 186

That's a pretty mealy-mouth post. You said so very little, yet used so many words!

I'm pretty sure there were lots of people "who were on the ground on day one" who don't give a rats ass about apologists like you expressing "disappointment" in the deep and widespread corruption that was uncovered during and after the hurricane.

Thank, pal, for your efforts. A few good apples in a rotten barrel do not stand a chance, though. That no officials were ever held accountable is way past horrible, rather it just bolsters my already well-earned cynical position.

Matter of fact, these kinds of incidents have evolved my position on the death penalty. It used to be no, it does not serve as a deterrent. Most violent crime, that's true.

But hey, I think for certain type of white-collar crime, it will serve as an amazing deterrent. Let's see CEO's and politicians and everyone in between continue their corruption unabated while their predecessor's body is still hanging on public display. I think somebody will be like "um, nah, I'm not gonna delete 3 years of white house emails, I wanna live. I quit. Yes, I'll testify."

I'm not sure if I'm joking anymore. Somebody compare the levels of obvious and visible corruption to the number of corruption trials held. Shit, how many years did it take for Ted Stevens to finally get nailed, for doing what he's always done since day one? Funny how something suddenly becomes illegal, even when nothing changes except when somebody comes along who is able to prosecute...nation of laws, my ass.

So basically you're screaming "Off with their heads!" in a shrill, ineffectual voice and trying to justify it as a political position? Neat.

gg nextmap

Chomsky would be proud. Now get back to work. That coffee won't make itself.


Virtual Peace Sim Game Based On America's Army 186

fortapocalypse writes "Duke University in collaboration with Virtual Heroes (who created America's Army) has produced a game called Virtual Peace, the intention of which is to help the gamer develop disaster relief and conflict resolution skills. Virtual Peace also is the winner of the HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition, according to an article published by the university."

Robots Debut In Japanese Theater Production 75

An anonymous reader writes "BBC News and CNET Cutting Edge are reporting on a new play starring at Osaka University, in which two Mitsubishi Wakamaru robots interact with human actors and move around the stage. Named 'Hataraku Watashi' ('I, Worker'), the play is authored by Oriza Hirata, a renowned playwright. It focuses on a robot who complains about his boring and demeaning jobs."

Evolving Rocks 172

SpaceAdmiral notes a new study making the claim that rocks have been evolving throughout Earth's history. "'Mineral evolution is obviously different from Darwinian evolution — minerals don't mutate, reproduce or compete like living organisms,' said Hazen in a statement announcing the study's findings. 'But we found both the variety and relative abundances of minerals have changed dramatically over more than 4.5 billion years of Earth's history. For at least 2.5 billion years, and possibly since the emergence of life, Earth's mineralogy has evolved in parallel with biology,' Hazen added. 'One implication of this finding is that remote observations of the mineralogy of other moons and planets may provide crucial evidence for biological influences beyond Earth.'"

Ethical Killing Machines 785

ubermiester writes "The New York Times reports on research to develop autonomous battlefield robots that would 'behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans.' The researchers claim that these real-life terminators 'can be designed without an instinct for self-preservation and, as a result, no tendency to lash out in fear. They can be built without anger or recklessness ... and they can be made invulnerable to ... "scenario fulfillment," which causes people to absorb new information more easily if it agrees with their pre-existing ideas.' Based on a recent report stating that 'fewer than half of soldiers and marines serving in Iraq said that noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect, and 17 percent said all civilians should be treated as insurgents,' this might not be all that dumb an idea."

New "Juno" Mission To Jupiter Announced 71

Riding with Robots writes "Today NASA announced it is officially proceeding with the Juno robotic mission to Jupiter. Scheduled to launch in August 2011 and reach the largest planet in 2016, the spacecraft will orbit the planet 32 times, skimming about 4,800 kilometers over the planet's cloud tops for about a year. The mission will focus on Jupiter's structure and evolution, and not on Europa or the other icy moons that may hide oceans under their surfaces — a disappointment if you ask me. Then again, all planetary missions so far have turned up amazing images and surprising scientific discoveries, and I doubt this expedition will be any different." We discussed NASA's deliberation of its short list a few days back.

How About an iPhone OS Or Android-Based Netbook? 162

perlow (Jason Perlow of ZDNet) suggests that the current crop of netbooks might be missing the boat when it comes to getting maximum battery life and small-screen usability, and asks "Could Mac OS X iPhone or Google's Android be the key to mass adoption of the next generation of netbooks?" Android looks pretty nice, I admit, but so far I like having full-fledged Ubuntu on my own small computer. He's not the first one to think that the iPhone would be well-employed as the guts of an ultra-portable, though. (Note: it's only a model.)
The Courts

Final Judgment — SCO Loses, Owes $3,506,526 265

Xenographic writes "SCO has finally lost to Novell, now that Judge Kimball has entered final judgment against SCO. Of course, this is SCO we're talking about. There's still the litigation in bankruptcy court, which allowed this case to resume so that they could figure out just how much SCO owes, which is $3,506,526, if I calculated the interest properly, $625,486.90 of which will go into a constructive trust. And then there's the possibility that SCO could seek to have the judgment overturned in the appeals courts, or even the Supreme Court when that fails. Of course, they need money to do that and they don't really have much of that any more. Remember how Enderle, O'Gara and company told us that SCO was sure to win? I wonder how many people have emailed them to say, 'I told you so.'"

Resurrecting the Mighty Mammoth, Cheaply 322

somanyrobots writes with an interesting followup in the New York Times to the earlier-reported substantial reconstruction of the woolly mammoth genome: "Scientists are talking for the first time about the old idea of resurrecting extinct species as if this staple of science fiction is a realistic possibility, saying that a living mammoth could perhaps be regenerated for as little as $10 million. The same technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years, the effective age limit for DNA." (The Washington Post article linked from the earlier post was much more skeptical, calling such an attempt "still firmly the domain of science fiction." The New York Times article, while describing the process in similar terms, also calls attention to recent advances in sequencing DNA, as well as recoding DNA for cloning.)

Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle 423

destinyland writes "For decades, people have been asking this brain teaser: 'What's the longest word you can type with only the left-hand letters on a keyboard?' The answer is supposed to be 'stewardesses,' but grepping the standard dictionary that ships with Unix reveals a much better answer. There's nearly 2,000 shorter words that can typed with only the left hand — including one word that's even longer. (The article also quotes a failed novel attempt using nothing but words typed on the keyboard's left side.)"

An Early Look At Prince of Persia 13

Joystiq reports that work on Ubisoft's re-imagined Prince of Persia is complete, and the game has been sent off for certification leading up to its scheduled December 2nd launch. They were able to get some hands-on time with the game, and they have nothing but praise for the controls and the combat system. Quoting: "The game walked us through several fights' worth of control tutorial until we honestly didn't have to give second thought to what button we were pressing to execute a particular move. By the time we wrapped up our play session, we were sliding between enemies' legs, tossing them into the air, calling in Elika to teleport-kick them, and thwacking away until they teetered on the edges of cliffs — just before we delivered a final blow that sending them plummeting. What was doubly impressive about the combat system was the fact that, according to Delbuquet, it continues to evolve steadily throughout the course of the game. We were already stringing together our own combos at this point; nothing felt canned."

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...